Ahhhhh tis’ the season for festive food, family and fun! Give me all of the gingerbread flavored things and peppermint everything! Are we done with pumpkin? Or is that still trending, post Thanksgiving? Whatever. Who cares. Let’s just be mindful this holiday, eat real food and enjoy ourselves, shall we? My workout schedule has been interrupted by parties, school volunteering, dog walking, taking care of my son, skateboarding practices…you name it! On the days where I can’t do a workout, I just pay extra attention to what I am eating and let those feelings of guilt wash away. There’s always something, am I right? Are you feeling me?
I love coming up with new ideas for festive treats during this time of year. Last year I created these Festive Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Puff Pastry twists. This year, I used crescent dough to create this fun wreath. I was inspired by my foodie friend Ashley, over at Fit Mitten Kitchen when she posted her two ingredient Chocolate Braided Dough. If you want a sweet, chocolatey version of my savory wreath, I suggest you hop right over to her page immediately. Her cookie recipes alone, are enough to get you salivating! Anyway, when she posted her chocolate wreath, I went all heart eyed and my heart raced a little bit. I immediately clicked on her link and studied the beautiful photography and recipe. I thought if I combined my recipe from last year and her wreath from this year, we’d have a winner! Ding! Ding! I was right! I brought two of these wreaths to a party over the weekend and they were devoured in minutes. I was asked if I brought a third one, but sadly I hadn’t. I suggest making at least two, if you have a ravenous, carb hungry crowd such as ours.
This recipe looks a liiiiiitle bit intimidating, I will admit. To make the process easier, buy store-bought pesto and instead of using my sun-dried tomato mixture, you could use store-bought tomato sauce instead. The dough can get a bit “squirrely” if you handle it too much or if it gets too warm. If this happens, just place it in the freezer for a few minutes to harden up. I’ve given you step by step instructions here, so you’ll be fine. I have faith in you! Feel free to head on over to Ashley’s page if you need more visuals on the process. She’s good like that.
For the sun-dried tomato red pepper sauce:
1 red pepper
1 small tomato
7 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (patted dry)
Blend the above in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside. Alternatively, you can use store-bought marinara sauce to make things quicker.
For the green:
1 6 oz. package of store-bought pesto.
1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (divided) use vegan cheese if desired
2 cans crescent dough (I used Immaculate Baking Co.) or you could try subbing puff pastry or even gluten free pie dough (although I haven’t tested these other doughs yet)
1 egg + 1 T water for an egg wash to make the dough shiny (optional)
Press the seams of the dough together as shown here. I overlapped the pieces slightly and then pressed them together.
Spread on the 2 T of Sun-Dried Tomato mixture on one half and 2 T of the basil pesto on the other half as shown here. Sprinkle on half the cheese and then roll up the dough.
Cut the dough in half, leaving the top 1/2 inch attached as shown here. Place back in fridge or freezer for a few minutes if it gets to soft or difficult to work with.
Gently wrap the two pieces of dough around one another (the pesto ends should be facing outward towards you). Don’t worry if things get a little messy. Things will all work out, I promise. Repeat the process with the remaining can of dough, starting with step 1.
Connect the two pieces of dough together to form a circle by pinching the ends together. Brush with egg wash if desired.
Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes* or until the dough is golden brown. You may make this up to 2 days ahead, although it is best when served straight from the oven. I topped mine with some basil, toasted pine nuts and extra parmesan once it had cooled, for a fun “snowy” effect.
*You may want to check the dough midway through cooking to make sure it’s maintaining its circle shape. If you notice it’s pulling apart or the dough is a funny shape, simply remove from the oven and carefully mold it back into a circle using a spatula and oven glove (as it will be hot!) Sprinkle with basil leaves and parmesan cheese if desired!